Few lines of a stormy week

The last two week is a memorable period to my life. Here’s the highlights, but there’s of course more of it surrounding the week:

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  1. Applying for UK visa and spend the whole weekend to search for nice places to visit. It was a an awesome plan.
  2. Got the refusal letter from UK Immigration: WTF moment.
  3. My lecturer called the UK embassy and submitted all kinds of letters. Hope fires up even though it’s only a slim chance.
  4. No answer from the embassy at all. Hope crashed and a self-promise that I probably will hate the British all my life.
  5. My lecturer convinced me to present via Skype. It was a horrible idea as I first heard it since I’ve been preparing for this trip like for 6 months and the actual travelling mattered so much much more to me than the presentation. But oh well, I can’t lose more anyway.
  6. After the first presentation, I was chosen as the finalists: the first one who ever did it via Skype.
  7. Second presentation was the next day with slightly more nervousness. The presentation did not work as it was supposed to, which is equivalent to 30% of the presentation.
  8. Surprisingly, I got the second place of the competition.

I could not say it’s the toughest two weeks of my life but it’s probably the time in which I’ve experienced so many different extreme emotional states. At the end of the day when I heard the news, I cried so much because it was necessary. It was the accumulation of regrets, happiness, relief and above of, the feeling of achievement.

There’s no way for us to know the future, we just have to walk it through.

Helsinki 06.2015

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Build a 22-year-old-self You Can Be Proud Of

This is not a normal article in the series #IfIwere22 because I was 22 only a year ago. It is not an advice letter, they are the sincere notes I wrote to myself, I hope you too can resonate with it.

As a 22, I quited my job and come on to pursue a mediocre degree, just to get away from the familiar place where I spent my adolescence. It was last year and felt like yesterday, when I was sitting in the room corner and wondering: What should I do next?

I did not sit there for long nor search for an answer anymore. There is no answer, we should all know that. The uncertainties exist for a reason: to urge us to be aware of the limited time we have and force us to complete what needs to be done.

If there is real magic in this world, I would wish someone had told me about the importance of finding my inner peace, that travelling is not the only way to explore and most notably, I should be quiet more often. Those are the three key things that leads me to my new-found self as now.

1 Be a calm and pleasant person

This has nothing to do with money or relationships. Do not mistake the outer coats with your inner values. You do not have to please anyone because if they do like you, they will like you. It’s important for you to look into your soul and befriend with it. Having a good relationship with people around you does not mean you have to fake a smile, but it’s more about you tell yourself “Hey, be cool. It’s not a big deal”.

2 Travel wisely

Everyone urges you to go travel and “open your mind”, “reach beyond what you can”. No, you don’t have to do that. Travel as you like and discover as you want. It’s fine if you stay at home and look through the computer screen and read about the history instead of dusting your shoes. The ultimate purpose of travelling is packed in one word “experience”, don’t let others’ opinions sabotage your exposures.

But if you really decide to go on travel, choose your companion wisely. It’s simple to pack your bag and go, but it’s not that simple to have the real joy of travelling. Be it your best friend, your mom or even yourself, you have to decide before your trip. Wherever you go, bear in mind that it’s not about the place, it’s all about the people you meet and talk with along the way.

3 Listen, listen and learn

“When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new” This saying has a lot to tell: First of all it asks people to stop talking; Secondly it tells you that listening alone is not enough, you gotta learn. Listening makes you a better person and learning makes you a different person. It’s the change that matters.

Being a 22-year-old means you have to be bold and be brave in whatever you do. It also includes the commitment of continuous learning to be a better person. There’s not an ultimate guide to do that, you just have to believe in yourself and climb the next step.

P/s: Just a piece of good news: as a recent graduate, you are graduating into the best job climate in over a decade. So, be happy 😉

A new start

Tadaaaaaaa

Today is the International Labour Day, a very big holiday in Finland because it coincides with spring celebration of the Finnish, Walpurgis day. People flocked all the streets yesterday with alcohol and happiness. Some was pretty crazy, here’s an example:

We woke up this morning rather late, being intoxicated from the drinks yesterday. Amazingly, we found our cutie spinach in the kitchen has blossomed into a fully grown, beautiful plant! You would be even more surprised to know it came from a spinach seed that we experimented to grow. I ignored it for quite a while until a few days ago, I decided to dismantle my indoor farm and discovered the spinach had grown so big.

The spinach seed package. Who knows it can grow into such a plant <3

The spinach seed package. Who knows it can turn into such a plant ❤

At first my boyfriend talked me into throwing it away. “It grows against all odds while other plants died away, there must be something to it” I thought so I kept it anyway, just put little and little water to it everyday, expecting that it might die soon cos there was not nutrition. Seeing it shows off its little yellow petals today was wonderful! I felt so happy that I trusted in my little spinach seed’s surviving spirit 😛

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Dear little spinach plant, you made a claim: Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence

Helsinki, 05.2015

If you think teaching is an easy career, think again

Have you ever looked at your lecturer and said to yourself: “That’s easy.”?

Have you ever felt unsatisfied with your grades and thought of your teacher as irrational?

I did. And for a long long time, I’ve been always thinking that: Teaching is something you will do when you fail to do other stuffs. But I was wrong, completely wrong, terribly wrong, ridiculously wrong. Teaching should be the most difficult career out of all other careers.

So I was invited to a Finnish class “Ruoka ja joumat kuturuliset” (name unknown) today to introduce the idea that I presented at Encounters15 conference. The class was divided into four groups, each of 4-5 students and they would take turn to come to my table and get introduced. I included in the presentation a short introduction about Six Hat Thinking technique and asked each group to use the approach to assess my idea. The result was positive and pretty close to my research conclusion. But anyway, I would tell you guys why I claim Teaching is the most worthy career choice:

1 It’s super difficult to inspire people 

Remember the last time you motivate someone into completion of what they’re afraid to do? It’s so rewarding, I know, cos I’ve been always interested in self-development and community events that results in multiple effects. But inspiration works is something I would do when I feel good, and I don’t feel like that all the time (I mean it’s really hard in this weather). Teaching, on the other hand, requires a lot of self-motivation and a strong desire to inspire people to do a good job. If I can be more precise: Teaching is hard, but teaching in Finland can even be harder.

2 It requires so much patience.

Okay so I told you that the class I attended today was divided into groups right? So I had to present my idea 4 times to 4 different groups of people. There were bright faces, curious looks which really stimulate my presentation, and I become so excited to talk about my idea. But, there’s always a but, there were also indifferent faces, emotionless eyes staring at my mouth which made me just want to stop everything and flip the table.

Is that you?

Now I’m pretty sure some of you are relating to yourself, even I myself sometimes showed that face (okay not sometimes). Just imagine lecturers have to put up with these faces ALL the time cos it’s impossible to make EVERYONE interested in what you said. That’s why I said every teacher must possess a gigantic capability to be patient, if there’s such a way to say 😛

3 Highest chance to get a throat inflammation, throat cancer, or whatever diseases relate to your throat

You would always tend to speak very loudly because the class is not silent all the time. Another valid reason to be loud is it  partly represents your energy. I don’t think anybody would be interested in a lesson where the teacher is whispering with herself. So after the second group today, I felt a flame burning through every inch of my throat. Just not my career.

Be nice to your teacher next time, they tried LOL

Helsinki, 04.2015

Encounters15 – Reflections about the conference

Three days just passed terribly fast. Great talks, accompanied by great people, and of course, great food. I was so sad leaving Porvoo yesterday and until now, it’s overwhelming when I think about what I’ve accomplished and how it affect me personally.

My wonderful friend, Linh, was also in the organizing team of this conference so I was very happy when she agreed to host me. As a student, I’ve always loved to explore the student life in another Finnish city and this is a great chance! Linh’s apartment is around 3 km away from the city center so it takes 40 minutes to walk, or 20 minutes by bikes from her place to the campus. And in the winter they all have to walk because it’s too slippery to ride! So city kids, be grateful if you can take a convenient train/ bus to school. Luckily for me, the spring weather was lovely for a long walk. Nevertheless, it still substantially increased my appreciation for the condition in Helsinki.

To be amongst the think tankers, who are enthusiastically improving the society through their practices and researches, is so inspiring. It further reinforced my determination to build a successful career to help more people around me. The two conference days were packed with insightful researches, diverse viewpoints and a plethora of practical knowledges and ideas. I followed theme 3, which was about integrating education and RDI for empowered wellness and life-style. Gamification in researches and education was emphasized, which is a great news for my other project. I also collected interests and valuable comments when presenting my idea about home-farming. There will be so many things to be done but it’s gonna be so exciting.

Some pictures from the conference:

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Helsinki, 03.2015

From Phoebe with ❤